citizenM goes international with a new hotel in Scotland
Group confirms four new hotels and more than 1100 rooms in London and New York
On September 9, 2010, the award-winning citizenM hotel group officially opens the doors to its first property outside Amsterdam in the very heart of Glasgow’s city centre, an area bustling with theatre, music, shopping, art and vibrant street life.
Now, with its newest, 198-room hotel in Glasgow, citizenM enters new geographic territory in one of the United Kingdom’s most fascinating yet often overlooked cities. “Glasgow is actually the number-one conference city outside London, and the UK’s second retail destination,” says Michael Levie, citizenM chief operating officer. “And it has plenty of music, art, shopping, everything. We really like its dynamics.”
The vibe is already going strong in the new citizenM location, on the buzzing corner of Hope and Renfrew streets. Traditionally a music and theatre hotspot, it’s also steps away from the city’s acclaimed art school. Eight storeys high with a façade made in robust natural granite, guests enter the hotel through an illuminated, double-height glazed red entrance leading to the first floor via a striking red spiral staircase.
Upstairs, the lobby immediately puts guests at ease: To the right is a long bar and relaxed lounge area that’s already attracting locals, as well as canteenM, the 24/7 kiosk-style cafeteria where guests can get their own high-quality snacks, like sushi, barista made coffee and now, even hot breakfasts. To the left are check-in kiosks that lead to an array of comfortable nooks – living rooms, so to speak – to suit different purposes. Guests can relax, meet, converse or work in areas with furnishings by Hella Jongerius, Verner Panton, Jasper Morrison and more designer classics from Vitra, citizenM’s exclusive interior design partner. Wall to wall windows allow a fabulous first-floor view of the bustling street scene outside, and the public space’s L-shape allows a more intimate, hang-out feel.
Another novelty: the new room typology. Not resting on their laurels, citizenM, along with architectural firm concrete, have thoughtfully improved the functionality of the award-winning guest rooms: brand new are the integrated bathroom, a larger closet and vanity, and a built-in worktable. “We wanted the room to be more efficient in space and more functional in its design,” says Robin Chadha, citizenM chief marketing officer. In this refined version, it definitely is.
The famously prefab rooms still feature king-size beds, wall-to-wall windows, the brilliant Philips mood pads (an all-in-one device that controls everything from free on-demand movies to wake-up calls), power rain showers, and Sealy mattresses. Sleek materials such as Corian®, glass and steel are combined with dark Zebrano wood flooring, plisse shaded lamps, vanilla-coloured wallpaper and red Vitra furniture.
The building itself has already earned the Breeam “excellent” status, which rates new constructions on their environmental viability,.
citizenM always reflects and embraces local cultures and tastes and develops its own local style. Here in Glasgow, an almost surrealist oversize mesh artwork by Glaswegian artist Alex Dordoy graces the hotel’s outside façade with a tongue-in-cheek humour. Even the back gate’s interesting abstract pattern conceals an intriguing reference to local culture: The striped pattern is actually a mega-blow-up of the ridges on the vinyl record of the classic track “I Belong to Glasgow,” by 1920s Glaswegian musician Will Fyffe.
citizenM Glasgow is just the first step in a major campaign to expand the citizenM world to new urban destinations. Just confirmed are two sites in London – one at the South Bank close to the Tate Modern Museum end of next year, and the other to open on Tower Hill in time for the 2012 Olympics. Two new sites are also confirmed in New York – on 50th and Broadway on Times Square and the hip Bowery on the fringe between Soho and the Lower East Side.
Roll-out plans elsewhere continue more rapidly than expected as well. citizenM is focusing on China and Hong Kong, and actively scouting building sites in Paris, Milan and Zurich.
Until then, welcome to citizenM Glasgow!
citizenM hotels aims to provide a new type of hotel experience for a new type of traveller. The group's founding philosophy is held central: to offer "affordable luxury for the people". Continuous innovation is a critical component of citizenM. The efficient building system combined with a dedicated offsite factory allows the company to consistently maintain high quality standards.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, citizenM's founders include professionals from both the hospitality and the fashion industry. Together with an experienced management team, citizenM is preparing itself for a rapid expansion.
Head of PR, citizenM